An awful lot of complaints about the men in our lives start the same:
- I expect my husband to pick up after himself.
- I expect him to at least remember when our anniversary is!
- I expect that when I cook, he does the dishes.
- I did not expect that once we married, he would kiss me only when he’s looking for sex.
- And I did not expect he would make such a fuss about visiting my family.
- I expect him to make a decent living.
- I don’t expect a lot, but is it unreasonable to expect he’ll watch the kids on those rare nights when I go out?
Newlyweds and long-time marrieds both want to know, “What should I expect from my guy?”
And I answer, “Expect love.”
That line can be hard to get your head around, because it is so easy to launch into something like this: “If he loved me, he would pick up after himself.”
Marriage is like a buffet. In a marriage, you should expect love. At a buffet, you should expect food.
At most buffets, if you are expecting food, you will be thrilled. There will be lots of it, and you are welcome to as much of it as you like. Some of it will be delicious. Some will be gorgeous. Some will whet your appetite. Some will fill your stomach. And it may come with a jazz quartet or a mariachi band or butter in the shape of a swan.
If you expect the carved watermelons your best friend described from the midnight buffet on her cruise, you will be disappointed. Most buffets don’t have them.
If you expect ham or bacon, you may be so disappointed that you miss out on the exquisite potato pancakes or the lox.
If you just can’t wait for those Austrian layer cakes from your sister’s buffet, you may skip right over the great the fantastic pastitsio at the Greek buffet to save room. What a shame!
My favorite buffet is the one at Old Sturbridge Village, but I would be miserably disappointed expecting anything like their wonderful chicken pot pie at a jazz brunch buffet in New Orleans.
When you head out to a buffet, expect food. Let the rest of the details surprise you. Don’t ruin the experience by comparing it to the highlights of another buffet.
And when you marry, forget what you know about other marriages. It will only get in the way of having a really great experience. Expect love. Let the rest of the details surprise you.